British title delight for Ipswich and Great Blakenham riders
PUBLISHED: 14:56 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 22 August 2018
Ipswich's Under-16 team won the British Club Championship in a last heat decider at Leicester, writes Phil Clarke.
A strong Stockport team were favourites to take the title.
But with a rider missing, the northern club had no answer to a solid and composed young Ipswich side who had their moment of luck in heat 11 when Poole’s Nathan Goulden and Coventry’s Lee Gregory collided in the final bend, turning Harvey Young’s third place in to a heat win and a vital extra two points.
Ben Clarke delivered the win for Ipswich in the final heat, lining up inside Stockport’s Michael Preston and seeing the victory home.
Poole 27: Josh Nottle 5, MacKenzie Briggs 4, Anna Tuttle 2, Maddie Saunders 6, Nathan Goulden 10
Coventry 33: Lee Gregory 9, Josh Walters 9, Owen Gregory 9, Jonathon Middleton 6
Stockport 47: Devon Campbell 16, Michael Preston 15, Louis Wright 16
Ipswich 49: Charlie Johnson 13, Ben Clarke 14, Gemma Hill 11, Harvey Young 10, Kristian Mitchell 1
Great Blakenham qualified comfortably for the Open final. Ipswich joined them after a last-heat decider in the semi final between Ipswich’s Ashley Hill and Poole’s Ben Mould.
Blakenham set the pace in the final, Wednesfield following within a few points, while Ipswich and Leicester settled in to a battle for fourth behind Birmingham.
Josh Brooke rode as Blakenham’s tactical reserve, riding against both Wednesfield and three times against Ipswich’s Ashley Hill.
Wednesfield reeled in Blakenham’s slim lead, going in to the last six heats equal on 48 points.
Adam Peck’s second place in the penultimate heat set up another final heat decider, Lewis Osborne in gate three concerned only by Wednesfield’s Lee Kemp in gate four. But Osborne gated clean over the Birmingham and Leicester riders for a heat win, Kemp stuck in third place, to win the title by two points.
Leicester 48: Craig Marchant 13, Mark Whitehead 14, Norman Venson 11, Dave Frith 7, Craig Whitehead 3
Great Blakenham 57: Jonjo Slaughter 6, Jason Ashford 6, Adam Peck 17, Lewis Osborne 17, Josh Brooke 11
Birmingham 53: Ewan Hancox 7, Ricki Johnson 15, Scott Millward 14, Chris Timms 17, Mark Winwood DNR
Ipswich 45: Ashley Hill 9, Matt Hill 14, Richard Fellgett 2, Dan Knights 7, Fraser Harris 3
Wednesfield 55: Lee Kemp 6, Paul Heard 14, Brandon Whetton 13, Chris Jewkes 17, Matt Smith 5
Hethersett 34: David Adams 7, Olly Buxton 6, Leigh Cossey 6, Liam Webster 5, Owen Wells 7
Meanwhile, the Eastern region cycle speedway squads faltered at Exeter, both missing the chance to secure their titles and go in to the final match with a clean sweep of victories.
The Eastern Seniors lead a close match until the ninth heat, when Will Jeffrey and Rob Geach capitalised on an exclusion to Richard Fellgett with a 7-2 over Ben Harvey.
The South’s lead remained within four points until East’s captain Matt Hill, top scoring until the 17th heat, fell heavily and had to withdraw from the meeting, a heat win with Fellgett changing to a 4-5 reversal. A shared first nominated heat left Ashley Hill and Dan Knights needing a 7-3 maximum to tie the match, though Ben Mould raced to the heat win.
Battle of Britain Seniors
South and South Wales 100
East and South East 94: Ashley Hill 13+3, Josh Brooke 23, Richard Fellgett 13+1, Lewis Osborne 12+1, Dan Knights 7, Matt Hill 15, Ben Harvey 7+1, Lewis Brinkhoff 4
The Eastern Juniors came within half a lap of the draw or win needed to secure their title, despite missing the talismanic Bacon brothers Pierce and Harrison.
The South pulled ahead with two 7-3 maximum heats, lead by power pairing Will Jeffrey and Fraser Garnett, though a tape exclusion for Garnett allowed Lewis Brinkhoff and Owen Wells a 7-2 over Nathan Goulden. Brinkhoff top scored for the East, dropping just one point to the equally impressive Jeffrey. Tyler Brinkhoff and Ben Clarke pulled the scores level in the penultimate nominated heat, leaving Adam Cooper and James Porter needing a 5-5 or better to secure the season title.
On the final bend Porter charged Ben Stanbury who fell unexpectedly, causing Porter to fall also; Stanbury remounted his machine first handing the win to the South and South Wales by two points.
Battle of Britain Juniors
South and South Wales 90
East and South East 88: Tyler Brinkhoff 15+2, James Porter 9, Owen Wells 10+1, Lewis Brinkhoff 22+1, Ben Clarke 16+1, Adam Cooper 16+2
The Eastern region teams complete their season at home to the North and Scotland, on Sunday, September 16, at Great Blakenham village hall. The Seniors can retain their title with a draw while the Junior can win their first title with a match win. Juniors begin at 1pm, Seniors at 2:30pm, spectating is free.